Readers follow a family from picking pumpkins through carving a jack-o’-lantern to trick-or-treating around the neighborhood in this rhyming, artful picture book.
A family picks pumpkins from the patch on the farm: “Vivid orange, / ghostly white, / or speckled green / might be just right.” Back at home, they prepare their space, invite “a friend or two— / form a PUMPKIN-CARVING CREW!” Cleaning out the pumpkin’s inside gets especially sensory treatment: “Lumpy chunks. Sticky strings. / Clumpy seeds. Guts and things.” All the variations of eyes, noses, and mouths (“A smirk. A snarl. / An eerie O. / Or pointy fangs, / all in a row” complete the carvings. Then it’s time for decorations, costumes, lighting the jack-o’-lanterns “to guard your house / while you have fun.” The illustrations use pencil, chalk, paint, and digital color with hues of purple and orange against blue and pink backgrounds to create a feeling of fall and dusk. The story moves from family to friends to a panoramic view of the street lined with jack-o’-lanterns in the final spread, capturing the magic of seasonal traditions. The nearly flawless rhythm of the text is a pleasure to read and will likely become a favorite. The family is interracial, with a black dad, Asian mom, and biracial kids.
Enchanting. (Picture book. 3-7)